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Italy begins to cut force stationed in Lebanon

Italy has begun to reduce its contingent to the multinational force in Lebanon, a Defense Ministry spokesman said Wednesday. The spokesman confirmed Italian press and radio reports that the 622-man ''Cernaia'' battalion of Bersaglieri infantrymen would not be replaced. This would leave the Italian contingent at around 1,500 men, the spokesman said. Those who will stay are mainly paratroopers and marines.

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Press reports said a first detachment of 110 Bersaglieri flew into Venice Tuesday and the whole battalion would be back in Italy by Jan. 26.

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